- Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)
- Mature Height 2 - 4 Feet
- Mature Spread 2 - 4 Feet
- Growing Zones 2 - 8
Sweetfern, or Comptonia peregrina, is a small aromatic perennial known for the elaborate patterns of its deep green, textured fronds. Every spring, Sweetfern sends out an army of sweet-smelling fiddleheads, which unfurl from their snug coils of delicate olive green foliage. The flowers are brown to burgundy catkins that appear before the leaves unfold. A small nut is enfolded within. With an impressive spread of 4 to 8 feet, the Sweetfern is between 2 and 4 feet tall.
Native to the eastern North America, the low-growing Sweetfern has a mounding, upright habit that is excellent for groundcover. They are low-maintenance, vigorous growers that are drought tolerant and tenacious. They colonize quickly by forming spores on the surface of the fronds. It is a host plant for the Gray Hairstreak butterfly, as well as a wide variety of moths. It is deer and critter resistant.
Plant your Sweetfern in full to partial sunlight. It uses average water. Sweetfern prefers moist, sandy soil with good drainage, but once established, it can survive in dry, sandy conditions. To keep the soil moist and cool, add a generous layer of mulch to your Sweetfern. Additionally, each year, you can apply well-rotted manure or compost to your ferns. However, concentrated fertilizer should not be applied, as it can burn the surface roots of your plants. If your Sweetfern is potted, use a controlled-release fertilizer option.
To prune your Sweetfern, cut off any misshapen or broken fronds. This can be done at any time of year. If you live in a colder area, leave the spent foliage attached to the plant throughout the winter to protect its crown, and instead, remove them when spring bulbs emerge.
The Sweetfern is an excellent option for providing a hardy groundcover. They are best planted en masse and can thrive in moist and shady areas. You should space your Sweetfern at least 3 feet apart from center to center to give them plenty of room to grow.
|USDA Hardiness Zones: 2 - 8|
|Plant Type: Bushes|
|Light Exposure: Partial Sun to Full Sun (At Least 5 Hours of Direct Sunlight)|
|Mature Height: 2 - 4 Feet|
|Mature Spread: 4 - 8 Feet|
|Spacing: 4 - 8 Feet|
|Habit: Spreading, Trailing, Upright|
|Flower Color(s): Yellow|
|Foliage Type: Deciduous|
|Foliage Color(s): Green|
|Seasonal Interest: Spring Flowering, Summer Flowering, Fall Flowering|
|Attracts: Bees, Butterflies, Hummingbirds|
|Uses: Groundcovers, Mass Planting, Wildlife Gardens|
|Features: Attracts Pollinators, Foliage Interest, Fragrant, Low Maintenance, Native to North America|
|Common Name: Sweetfern|
|Scientific Name: COMPTONIA PEREGRINA|
Please Note: The pictures below are to give a general representation of the different container sizes. The actual size/ages of plants are estimates and will vary based on; type of plant, time of year, last pruning & many other factors.
For more detailed information, please click here.
Plant Addict Guarantee (Included On All Plant Orders)
Plant Addicts guarantees your plant(s) will arrive happy and healthy, but the plant(s) are being shipped through the mail and accidents happen. If the plant is dead, has dried out roots or the incorrect item was shipped just notify Plant Addicts within 3 days upon delivery. We may ask for pictures but will try to make it as easy as possible for you. Please note plant(s) with damaged branches or wilted leaves will not qualify for this guarantee. Plants are very resilient and will rebound quickly when cared for correctly.
For information on how to care for you new plant please check out our guide. Guide: How to Care for Your New Plant(s)
Plant Addicts Warranty - 1 Year (Extra Purchase Required)
We encourage all plant lovers to purchase the Plant Addicts Warranty whether you’re new or an expert. There are many variables outside our control and yours that can cause the demise of your plant(s). Examples would be hungry animals, drought, poor soil conditions, over watering, disease, insects & many other factors. The Plant Addicts Warranty is a 1 year warranty protecting you from all the unknowns and will replace your plant if it moves on to the plant afterlife.
The warranty is purchased on a per plant basis and must be purchased at the same time as the plant purchase. We will cover 100% of the price of the plant but the warranty does not cover shipping cost. Simply let us know if your plant has died within one year of receiving it and we’ll get you a new one shipped out. We may ask for photos for documentation purposes but again we’ll try to make it as easy as possible.
For more information, please go to our Shipping & Returns page at the bottom of the website.
Standard Colors: 2-3 business days
Special Order Colors: 8 weeks - this is due to the planter being custom made with the color(s) of your choice
Please Note: On special orders there can not be any cancellations
Time of Order:
- If there is extreme heat we’ll delay shipping.
- We’ll have to review what areas the plants are traveling through along with your location
Once your plant is shipped you’ll receive an email with tracking information. Depending on the above criteria we’ll ship your plant(s) towards beginning of the following week from your order. We put together this helpful guide of what to do when you receive your plants in the mail.
It is important to know that all of our plants are clearly labeled for which growing zones the plant can survive in. The plants are thoroughly trialed and tested in every growing zone before we state the plant can grow in a zone. Again, our #1 priority is to ship the plants to you healthy and ready to thrive in your location. So we will do everything in our power to do so.